21 Apr 09
I have Automotive ADD.

After I wrecked my Camaro, I figured I'd put some money into tools and bills and generally improving the quality of life around here, so while I actually turned a profit on the car even after driving it 2 years and 40,000 miles, I somehow ended up with this as my replacement daily driver: a 1994 BMW 325i convertible.

I hate it.  It has no soul.  The interior has the quality of an early 80s Ford.  The engine is bland.  The transmission is automatic.  The "ultimate driving machine" doesn't handle nearly as well as the Camaro did.  The only two nice things I can say about it are a) I like having the top down, and b) the seats are more comfortable than the ones in the Camaro.

I cannot afford to buy another Camaro - either one of the new ones that they have in front of Friendly Chevrolet as of today, or another 4th gen, or even a beat up third gen RS.  I'd prefer a convertible anyway.

Conveniently enough, I have a spare convertible.
Yes, it's a rusting shell (mostly) in primer.

However, I have most of the parts to put it back together and make it driveable.  I have the 396 from the Elky, the complete braking system from there, the used suspension bits, the Painless harness, and a variety of spare parts I've collected for various reasons over the years.

I don't have a transmission, but a used TH350 would be fine.  I need a radiator, a shifter, and some small parts.  (Yes, I have the Elky's radiator, but they're different styles).
Driver's side front suspension is complete, if a bit rusty.
Pass side is missing the drum and brake hardware.   The hard lines for the brakes are missing too.  Front tires hold air.  Rear tires do not.  I'm waiting to hear back from the friend with a tow truck, need to move this from the grass next to the driveway to the driveway, and to turn it around so the nose is facing the garage.

Should get interesting in that there's nothing resembling a brake on the car - the rear drums were removed in preparation for the disc conversion that never happened, and there's no tranny to put in Park.  Driveway has a slope to it, towards the gate. 

Parking brake is a priority.
First step, after removing the tarp that's been covering this for the past few years, is to remove the Elky's front clip from its temporary home.

Duct-taped stuff on the firewall was to keep varmints out - we had both a family of kittens and a possum take up residence here, and that was enough.

So - the derekf.com challenge:  How cheaply and quickly can I make this car driveable? (Note: I said driveable, not pretty. I need a windshield, one seat and a seatbelt, not a top and door panels. I've got no school for the first Summer semester, so I'm going to shoot for having it run by the start of Summer 2. Parts availability may be the holdup there.)  Once it's driveable I can worry about putting a coat of paint on it and doing the interior.  Obviously there's some stuff that should be done in a specific order - I need to paint the firewall and frame before I put the engine in, because once it's in, it's too late to spray.

Build style will be "vaguely stock".  Wheels?  Stock with hubcaps.  Engine?  396 with very little chrome.  Dual exhaust, exiting at the bumper like factory.  327 badges, since it's not a Z16 and a 327 was the original engine.  Maybe an upgrade to the cam to a hydraulic roller in the future, maybe not.

If you have a spare 65 Chevelle radiator, or a floor shifter, or hard brake lines, or maybe a fuel tank in better shape than mine that you want to donate to the challenge, that'd be awesome, just let me know.  Not holding my breath though.

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